Snowbombing Festival 2015: Stewarding, Skiing and Sleepless Nights

Over the Easter Holidays, which seems like an eternity ago now, I went on a bit of an adventure. You may recall how I went away to Austria over Easter 2014 on an orchestral tour to Vienna, and it appears that music, Austria and long haul coach trips are now somewhat a tradition for me over the Easter break. However, this year I did not have my sheet music and violin in tow, but ski boots, goggles and a slight apprehension about what I had actually signed up for. This time I was off to Snowbombing Festival.

Continue reading

March in review: We are running with this diary thing

It is the final day of March and I’m a bit dazed. It has been pretty non-stop, and April promises little chance of recovery as I head off to Kent on Friday to begin my steward work for Snowbombing festival – by the end of the week I will be in Mayrhofen, Austria, working 8 hours a day into the early hours of the morning, then hitting the slopes with my free ski pass. I’m a little bit (very very very very very…) excited.

Continue reading

February in review: I’ve turned it into a pointless diary

It is the 28th of February and I feel slightly at a loss. I decided I would write two blogposts a month at least, and it is not exactly a massive task, but at the moment I am struggling to come with up a solid post on one thing in particular. I really didn’t want to write a post going through the main events of the month, because let’s face it, my life isn’t interesting enough for anyone to find that particularly inspiring or enjoyable.

Continue reading

I went to Durham: A tale of coffee shops, schnapps and friends

Ramblings from a coffee shop
I have begun writing this post sitting in a coffee shop of which this will be my third visit, partly because it is just so good and mainly because I don’t know where else to go as a non-resident of Durham. It feels a little bittersweet to write a post about how brilliant Durham is as I had my heart set on studying here for so long, so I already knew what a wonderful place it is. In fact, I did have concerns it would be a little upsetting to be here and be so involved with the student lifestyle I once thought I would be living. However, this visit has so far reassured me that although Durham is wonderful, Bristol is the city for me after all and I can continue to write this post about my wonderful trip with no bad blood or dramatic sobs of ‘WHY OH WHY?!’. So now I’m going to carry on sipping my raspberry tea whilst I wait for my friend to join me and enjoy the rest of my time here with a refreshing sense of contentment that everything has worked out for the best.

Continue reading

First visits: Vienna, Austria

I want to do a bit of a profile of some places that I have visited, but because I am pretty sure I will visit most – if not all – of them again at some point, I’m going to call this ‘series’ (woah getting a bit of professional over here) “First visits” cause I’m so creative with naming things. So here is the first of the first visits. How apt!

Where?
Vienna, Austria, Central Europe

When?
April 2014

Language?
Deutsch (German)

Currency?
Euro

Continue reading

Cooking (quite badly) time; Butternut Squash Casserole

Cooking again. This time I danced to electro music whilst making a very easy butternut squash casserole. It was pretty chill. Now I am blasting Kanye whilst writing this, which is also pretty chill. I think I’m just chill. Maybe it is the detox pukka tea. Probably.

Back to food? I think that might be a good idea.

This recipe is vegetarian, gluten free and I don’t know. Dairy free? Yeah, it’s dairy free. I know people like these things. I just wanted to use a butternut squash.

Continue reading

Cooking (quite badly) time: Bhaji Frittata

I am on a bit of a health kick at the moment, with a mad amount of juicing and salads, and none of that Christmas chocolate I have waiting for me for an occasional treat. To be honest, I’m really enjoying it and isn’t that much of a change to how I ate before, although I have had to think about everything I eat a lot more. But now it is becoming second nature to grab the spinach rather than the biscuits and I am really trying to challenge myself to see how far I can go with this health kick. We even got almond milk.

Today, I bring you a recipe. I must reinstate I am really bad at cooking, and you probably shouldn’t follow anything I say, but this was a bit different and BY GOLLY I WANT TO SHOW IT OFF. So keep reading if you fancy a bhaji frittata…

Continue reading

A scrapbook, some jars and a wannabe crafter

I live in a house of constant crafting. My dad spends his free time making wooden trinkets and recently got into pyrography; my mum has dabbled in card making, scrapbooking and sewing, and has the big project of decorating a bare doll’s house to keep her busy currently; and then there is me with my (terrible) paintings, drawings and general crafting. I have grown up making things, and I don’t think my creative streak will ever stop having its own way and causing me to start projects that take a ridiculous amount of time to get done. But I love it.

A Scrapbook for a Travel Lover
For Christmas this year, which now feels like a far away dream, some of my friends and myself took part in a secret santa. As soon as I found out which lovely person I had been assigned my brain immediately jumped to the creative side and I started writing down all my ideas of gifts I could give her because I have way too much spare time. My friend is very into travelling and as it is something we have in common I thought it might be a nice idea to create a kind of European city travel scrapbook. I know, I am like a ten year old who just wants to glue and stick things all the time (was that just me then as well?).

On a trip to Liverpool my friend helped me choose this lovely scrapbook from Paperchase and the rule is when you have bought the scrapbook you have to start filling the scrapbook – no backing out. Uh oh.

image

So for about a month and a half, I slowly filled up the pages with a city profile for each two page spread. Some pages are pretty terrible (e.g. the first pages on Paris), but on a whole I was quite pleased with it. The idea behind it was that my friend could put her own photos in, check off the places she had visited and fill in her memories from her adventures, and her task is now to make sure she gets all those places ticked off and more. It isn’t perfect by any means – I am not actually that good at arts and crafting, I just really enjoy doing it. But it is full of lots and lots of love, because I am a walking cliché. Here are a few of the pages that aren’t too naff:

image

image

image

image

image

image

I know, it is a bit of a weird present, but I think she liked it!

Gifts in a Jar
I also wanted to get something for the rest of my friends, but I as worrying about offending them a little if I gave them lavish gifts when the majority of them are living the student life I am soon to live. I know they wouldn’t be offended really, but I a ma bit of a worrier. So I decided if I went homemade-ish I could get away with getting them something. I had some jars lying about so I decided to utilise the jars and make 3 different types gifts:

1. Spa in a Jar
It rhymed so I had to do it. For the spa in a jar I bought various minature spa-type bits and bobs and quite simply… Put them in the jar! Each jar had one main product (e.g. body mist, body lotion etc…), a candle, a loofah/flannel, face mask, bath fizzer and rose bath petals. Then I covered the lid in purple tissue paper, made a label out of black card, and stuck it on. Easy!

image

'Pamper yourself'... I sound like an advert

image

Note: the mess

image

Crammed it all in

2. Coffee/Tea Break Jar
It doesn’t rhyme, but it involve coffee and tea so you can’t go wrong. For these ones I actually found these jars that said coffee and tea on, and filled them up with various goodies – unsurprisingly, various types of coffee, various types of tea and then a load of chocolate and a few biscuits. I plonked some rope round the jars, made a label and again, easy!
image

image

image

image

3. Cookie Jar
The final jar was quite simply full of cookies. Yum. My friend asked for he cookie recipe, and this is the one I tend to use for gooey, chocolate chip cookies.

‘Millie’s Style’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

(recipe by alice1211 on BBC Goodfood)

Ingredients:
125g butter, softened
100g light brown soft sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
200g chocolate chips

Method:
1. Get your oven on gas mark 4. Or 180°C. Or something else.
2. Get your butter and your sugars, sugar. Cream them, which I always find really fun.
3. Egg time. Beat it in. Then plonk in the vanilla, mmmmm.
4. Grab a sift and sift in the flour and salt.
5. Fold in those chocolate chips.
6. Make them into little balls, and put them on ungreased baking paper.
7. Bake them for no more than 7 minutes (believe me) and take them out – they will harden as the cool.

COOKIES! I cut them with a small round cutter whilst they were still fairly soft so they fit in the jar, and then plonked in some cinnamon star shaped biscuits as well.
image

image

That was my creative Christmas splurge. I always like to read about other people’s crafting endeavours so I thought I would write about my own. Like I say, I’m not very good at it, but I don’t think you need to be. Especially if you have some jars lying about.